Standup comedian Rajiv Satyal wants you to know that he’s Indian. In this intense two-minute shout-out released last week for India’s Independence Day and influenced by the Molson ‘I Am Canadian’ beer ad he shares exactly what being Indian means (and does not mean) to him:
I’m Indian. Just Indian. I’m not South Asian any more than Russians are North Asian.
I’m not ASIAN Indian or EAST Indian. There are 1.3 billion of us – we don’t need a cardinal direction, OK? It’s not our fault that Christopher Columbus got lost.
Sure, we love our states, but there’s strength in numbers – 1 out of every 6 human beings is Indian, so stop dividing us. The British already did that – once.
And we need to quit saying that we’re not Indian because I wasn’t born here or sound like this or eat that. Our HEARTS are Indian.
We are feelers. We gave the world the romance of Bollywood films and the music of Ravi Shankar and Zubin Mehta and Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle and the allure of the Kama Sutra.
We are thinkers. We are great at math because we INVENTED numbers. And we’re pretty good at letters, too. We are doctors and engineers and techies. And we mean business: we’re the world’s 3rd largest economy and the wealthiest ethnic group in America.
We are huge and efficient – India is all on one time zone. That way, everybody in the country is still late – but at the same time. We never invade anyone because we already have everything: chess, the ruler, the button, wireless communication, arranged marriage, flush toilets, steel, DEMOCRACY – all us, all India.
And you’re welcome, world, for yoga, and elevating cricket into a multi-billion-dollar sport, and making food so good that you sailed across the planet to come have some.
Our food is hot. Our country is hot. Our women are hot. Our men are… lucky?
Where the world prays, we meditate. We practically invented religious tolerance and we gave you Mahatma Gandhi and Pundits and Gurus and Karma and Dharma and Kismet and Reincarnation. The motherland is magical and mystical. And no matter who you are, you can find yourself here… in Incredible India. Jai Hind!
I. AM. INDIAN.
Satyal is from Cincinnati, Ohio, and he has toured with Dave Chappelle, Tim Allen, Kevin Nealon, and Russell Peters. He co-founded Make Chai Not War, a 2012 Hindu/Muslim stand-up show that toured seven Indian cities, sponsored by the U.S. State Dept. Find out more about this engineer and former P&G marketer on Facebook or on his website.